Excellent “article”:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114419429783417125.html?mod=hps_us_editors_picks in today’s “Wall Street Journal Online”:http://online.wsj.com/, in the “Portals” column by “Lee Gomes”:mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
The title is “Apple’s 30 Years Of Selling Cool Stuff With Uncool Message”:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114419429783417125.html?mod=hps_us_editors_picks (subscription may be required), but I think “my title”:http://michaelmontgomery.net/article/gadgets-make-moral-statements is better.
He begins by discussing Apple’s 30-year anniversary, and their record of technology milestones, in glowing tones.
But he finds “another important Apple creation” to be problematic, if not insidious:
bq. The idea is that *moral values can be attached to technological objects*; that certain kinds of technology are inherently more ethical than other kinds; and that, by extension, the simple act of owning or using one particular kind of technology somehow makes you a better person than you’d be if you didn’t.
He welcomes a feisty debate on the relative merits of computers and other technological gadgets.
However, he believes the “idea of the virtuous computer”, or by extension any conclusion that “[g]ood deeds became equated with good shopping” is a bit much.
_Photos from_ “Wikipedia”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1984_%28television_commercial%29.
2 thoughts on “Gadgets Make Moral Statements (?!)”
I agree, attempting to attach moral values is a bit of a marketing gimmick. I don’t see how owning a certain product can make you a better person. On the other hand I could see how owning some products could make you unethical.
I suppose “it’s all in how you use it,” whatever “it” is.
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